The Latino Lawful Permanent Resident Removal Cases: A Case Study of Nicaragua and a Call for Fairness and Responsibility in the Administration of U.S. Immigration Law
42 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2011
Date Written: April, 17 2011
This Note aims to contribute to the current dialogue by raising issues of fairness, responsibility, and human dignity that merit special consideration in any immigration reform proposal regarding the laws that apply to lawful permanent residents who have committed crimes. Part I analyzes the underlying motivation for the enactment of the immigration laws that were passed in 1996. This discussion hints at the racial undertone beneath the facially race/ethnicity-neutral laws that were drafted with full knowledge that their impact would be disproportionately suffered by the most recent immigrant population—Latinos. While the emphasis of this Note is not on the analysis of the applicable statutes that deal with the removal of lawful permanent residents for crimes, Part I includes a brief overview of some of the applicable statutory provisions to frame the subsequent sections that deal with the effects of those laws, the policy considerations, and the proposal for legislative changes. Part II utilizes a case analysis of issues faced by deportees from Nicaragua to illustrate how the foreign policy of the United States affects the governments, economies, and migration trends of other countries. This country-specific analysis demonstrates why the United States has a special responsibility, as part of its immigration policy, to migrants who flee to the United States as a result of conditions created by U.S. foreign policy, including support of dictatorships and military intervention. This Part also substantiates that generally applicable immigration laws need to account for special circumstances such as whether removal of longtime lawful permanent residents to a particular country of origin warrants additional humanitarian safeguards. Parts III and IV borrow from the analysis in Part II to dispel the rhetoric about national security that has been used to promote mass deportations, and to suggest that deportations of longtime lawful permanent residents may not be in the best interest of the United States or its neighbors. Part V builds upon some of the material discussed in Parts I through IV and sets forth a simple, straight-forward recommendation for legislative reforms that would promote fairness in the removal process of lawful permanent residents.
Keywords: immigration, lawful permanent resident, deportation, removal, noncitizen, Nicaragua, racism
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